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Apple's true wireless buds leak again, signaling a shift from Lightning to USB-C

Leaked Beats Studio Buds offer design clues for the next AirPods Pro.

Published onJune 10, 2021

  • Images and other details of the Beats Studio Buds have leaked thanks to a regulatory listing.
  • The listing confirms that the stemless Apple earbuds will switch from a Lightning to a USB-C port for charging.
  • The second-gen AirPods Pro are expected to borrow design elements from the new Beats buds.

Apple’s subsidiary Beats is readying a new set of true wireless earbuds that could pave the way for future AirPods design. Called the Beats Studio Buds, images of the earbuds were first spotted in Apple’s own beta software. Making things more official, the Beats Studio Buds have now appeared (h/t MacRumors) on Taiwan’s NCC (National Communications Commission) database.

The Beats Studio Buds once again flaunt their stemless design on the regulatory website. They don’t have any ear wraps like the Powerbeats Pro and are more compact with an in-ear design. Apple is also reportedly testing a similar, stem-free design for the second-gen AirPods Pro.

Another noteworthy change described in the regulatory listing is the lack of a Lightning port. Instead, the oval charging case uses a USB-C port for charging. This is a first for Apple as previous Beats headphones and AirPods have all charged over a Lightning connector. If Apple is switching up ports on the Beats Studio Pro, we might also see the change on future AirPods.

Elsewhere, the earbuds are expected to offer an Apple chip for instant pairing and the “Hey, Siri” function. The code found in Apple’s beta software also revealed that the earbuds would pack noise cancellation.

There’s no word on when the Beats Studio Buds will launch. But they shouldn’t be far off, given the regulatory listing. They’ve also been spotted on NBA star Lebron James and American rapper and songwriter Roddy Ricch.